Lionel Messi moved to PSG last season, after spending nearly 21 years at Camp Nou, but hasn’t really sparked for the French giants. Can we anticipate a surprise move back to his childhood club?
Lionel Messi left Barcelona, not by choice, but by Barcelona’s financial crisis where they could no longer afford his exorbitant €1 Million per week salary. As a result, he was forced to leave his dearly club with whom he has over 10 La Liga titles, 4 Champions Leagues, Eight Spanish Super Cups, and seven Copa Del Rey titles.
Since moving to PSG on a free transfer, his stats haven’t been great and certainly not lived up to his very high expectations. The 34-year-old has scored 6 goals and 4 assists in 16 appearances.
But one would expect a lot more, considering he is playing alongside many big names such as his former teammate at Barca and companion Neymar, one of the best young players Kylian Mbappe, and other big players like Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum, Ashraf Hakimi and many more. His Argentinian manager Mauricio Pochettino is also known for his dominating time at Tottenham.
Even though they’re at the top of the Ligue 1 table, they are not as dominating as one would expect them to be. Their first big challenge will be tested in Round of 16 of the Champions League, where they face the La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
But just halfway into his first season in the French capital, the Argentinian has already been linked to a return to the Catalan giants. Reports suggest that his wife Antonella Roccuzzo is unhappy and not enjoying her life in France.
Messi’s kids are also having a hard time learning French and are missing their friends back in Catalan. This could be sort of an indication of him moving back to his past glorified club.
Since Messi’s departure, Barcelona has been completely shaken. Ronald Koeman was fired and Xavi was appointed. They signed new talent, namely Memphis Depay from Lyon and Luuk De Jong on a transfer. But nothing seems to be going right for them at the moment.
Xavi’s charge has not really signified a big impact, as Barcelona stands 7th on the La Liga table. They were recently defeated by their arch-rivals Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish SuperCup. They were also demoted to the UEFA Europa League after missing out on making it to the Round of 16 of the UCL.
Joan Laporta, however, has promised to bring new talent to Barcelona and has already signed the Spanish winger Ferran Torres from Manchester City. But to bring someone with the stature of Lionel Messi, could potentially be a turning point for the club.
If Messi were to reduce his weekly wages and take a cut as most Barca players did, he could return. Although this seems nearly impossible, Messi was not ready to budge the last time this happened.
But there is a possibility, as Argentinian’s family pressure and inability to cope up in Paris could force him to explore options. Barcelona would undoubtedly be at the top of his list if he makes his mind to leave.